Out of the Valley: Festival travel hacks for a fuss-free journey

By Sarah Edwards at

As revellers continue to enjoy a summer of festival fun, Trainline, Europe’s number one independent train ticket retailer and train travel app, has unveiled predictions for the quietest times of day to travel to the top 10 most popular upcoming UK music festivals and six clever travel hacks for a fuss-free journey.

Leeds festival has been crowned the most popular festival, based on Trainline train ticket sales to date, followed by Creamfields and then Reading – all of which are set to take place around the August Bank Holiday weekend. And while popular festival routes will always be busy, for those wanting a better chance at beating the crowds and sitting with friends, Trainline predicts that travelling at around 9am* is the best time to take the train.

The most popular festivals based on Trainline train ticket sales to date are:

Top 10 UK Festivals

1 Leeds
2 Creamfields
3 Reading
4 Boardmasters
5 Latitude
6 Kendal Calling
7 Wireless
8 Secret Garden Party
9 Boom Town
10 Wilderness

For those yet to book their travel, Trainline has looked at tickets booked to festival stations from all over the UK to predict the quieter dates and time slots to travel:

Festival Train station Quietest times to travel to festival
1 Leeds Leeds 9pm on 24th August
2 Creamfields Warrington Bank Quay 9am, 2pm or 4pm on 23rd August; 9am, 4pm or 6pm on 24th August
3 Reading Reading 4pm on 24th August
4 Boardmasters Newquay 8pm on 8th August or 9pm on 9th August
5 Latitude Diss 8am, 9am, 10am or 3pm on 12th July or 7am on 13th July
6 Kendal Calling Penrith 8pm on 26th July or 3pm on 27th July
7 Wireless Finsbury Park 8am or 11am on 6th July
8 Secret Garden Party Huntingdon 9am, 1pm or 5pm on 19th July
9 Boom Town Winchester 11am or 3pm on 9th August
10 Wilderness Charlbury 8am, 10am or 1pm on 2nd August

Want to be a festival travelling pro?! Here’s six travel hacks from Trainline for a fuss-free journey:

FIND THAT ELUSIVE SEAT – Don’t have a reserved seat? Don’t fret – the BusyBot feature in the Trainline App reveals the quietest parts of the train so you can head for the empty seats and have the best chance of travelling in comfort. According to Trainline’s BusyBot app feature, you’re most likely to find a seat in the middle of the train.

IT PAYS TO PLAN AHEAD – If you haven’t coordinated your travel to Creamfields yet, it’s not too late. Remember that you can make significant savings by booking in advance. You can make an average saving of 43% on Advance fares vs. the cheapest non-Advance fares (selected routes only, subject to availability).

SHARING IS CARING – Festival trips with friends are a staple of British summertime. Make sure you check out GroupSave with Trainline, where groups of 3-9 passengers who travel together on Off-Peak tickets may be eligible for a 34% discount.

QUICK AND CLEAN – Worried about long traffic jams on the way to Latitude or getting post-Download dirt in your car? Get the train and avoid congested roads and having to clean the inside of your car as soon as you get back – you can make your journey even faster by using mobile ticketing in the Trainline app to avoid queues at the station!

AVOID PARKING COSTS – Getting a good spot at festivals can be costly, hard to manage and hard to find your car at the end! Miss out on paying additional costs and take the train to skip the crowds – there’s nothing stopping you from having a snooze after a weekend of non-stop partying on your way home, either!

JOURNEY SORTED – Events like the Green Man Festival offer free shuttle buses for festival goers between the station and the venue. Use the Trainline app for real-time journey updates and delay information, and find your platform number in the app in order to avoid the crowds underneath station departure boards, and head straight for the train.